[SOLVED] Nvidia graphics for Dell XPS 15 and harddrake

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[SOLVED] Nvidia graphics for Dell XPS 15 and harddrake

Postby ncarver » Jun 13th, '18, 00:43

Have a brand new Dell XPS 15 9570 with both intel and nvidia graphics. Would like to just use the intel graphics but unfortunately many corruption issues with it. This is apparently due to it being coffee lake gen. The XPS 13 I got a few months ago at work has no such issues but is previous intel gen. I have tried all the suggestions I could find on Internet (e.g., changing intel accel method, etc.), but nothing has helped. Machine is barely usable in this state, which really is not acceptable.

So, wanted to try using nvidia proprietary driver as have seen posts from a couple of others who got it working on other distros with this particular laptop. So used drakconf to setup nvidia driver. It appears however, that when harddrake runs at boot it sees the intel card and resets graphics to it, so I do not get the nvidia driver being used (and system fails to start graphics due to nvidia glx files!). So end up with non-booting installation (have to remove all nvidia packages to get it booting again).

What is the best approach to keep harddrake from doing this (changing graphics cards/driver automatically at boot)? Or what is the best approach to get the nvidia driver to definitely get used? Thanks for any assistance.
Last edited by ncarver on Jun 16th, '18, 00:37, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Nvidia graphics for Dell XPS 15 and harddrake

Postby doktor5000 » Jun 13th, '18, 23:07

ncarver wrote:Would like to just use the intel graphics but unfortunately many corruption issues with it.

Corruption issues as in? Some more details would be appreciated ...

ncarver wrote:What is the best approach to keep harddrake from doing this (changing graphics cards/driver automatically at boot)? Or what is the best approach to get the nvidia driver to definitely get used? Thanks for any assistance.

You can disable harddrake on boot via inserting HARDDRAKE_ONBOOT=no in /etc/sysconfig/system

You could also check whether the hints at https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Mageia_6_Err ... g_graphics help in some way. They are meant for live boot images, but maybe it changes something.

Otherwise, you can also take a look at https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Bumblebee
There are also quite a few forum threads here for systems with hybrid graphics / optimus.
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Re: Nvidia graphics for Dell XPS 15 and harddrake

Postby ncarver » Jun 14th, '18, 02:30

Thanks for your assistance...

doktor5000 wrote:
ncarver wrote:Would like to just use the intel graphics but unfortunately many corruption issues with it.

Corruption issues as in? Some more details would be appreciated ...


Sorry about not giving details, but many issues, virtually all of which I also see in online searches from intel graphics over the last few years. A few examples: Bookmark dropdown menus in Chrome have text corrupted by horizontal lines. Emacs is completely unusable as text simply disappears as it is modified and rectangles get sprinkled throughout the text as cursor is moved. Okular fails to completely redraw screen as you move through pages. Moving through the Plasma desktop context menu (from right-click) leaves a number of the entries highlighted.

doktor5000 wrote:
ncarver wrote:What is the best approach to keep harddrake from doing this (changing graphics cards/driver automatically at boot)? Or what is the best approach to get the nvidia driver to definitely get used? Thanks for any assistance.

You can disable harddrake on boot via inserting HARDDRAKE_ONBOOT=no in /etc/sysconfig/system


Thanks, I found that today but it was from some time ago so not certain if still valid with systemd setup.

doktor5000 wrote:You could also check whether the hints at https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Mageia_6_Err ... g_graphics help in some way. They are meant for live boot images, but maybe it changes something.

Otherwise, you can also take a look at https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Bumblebee
There are also quite a few forum threads here for systems with hybrid graphics / optimus.


OK thanks. Don't really want to have to specifically run apps on Nvidia card since Intel card is working so very poorly. I had found a couple of Ubuntu (I think) users who claims to have installed Nvidia proprietary driver with this particular laptop and it just worked. Sounded simple to try, so that is what I will do now that I should be able to keep harddrake from undoing the Nvidia config. If it fails to work due to how Nvidia and Intel hardware are setup then I will look into Bumblebee.
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Re: Nvidia graphics for Dell XPS 15 and harddrake

Postby ncarver » Jun 16th, '18, 00:35

So got nvidia driver installed and started but of course just get black screen (despite what was suggested in two posts I read online).

Being encouraged to search more in forum lead to info about mageia-prime, which sounded like exactly what I wanted (use only nvidia GPU due to intel corruption issues). Used the install/setup script and got some warnings about the nvidia modules, but went ahead and rebooted anyway and, boom, there was my desktop, running on the nvidia GPU! Of course battery life suffers a fair amount, but no significant corruption issues, so machine is much more usable. (Only issue is some apparently well known bug involving Plasma desktop shortcuts text when waking nvidia card from sleep.)

Thanks to doktor5000 for answering my harddrake question and helping point me in the right direction for the optimus hardware.

Hopefully at some point in the near future the intel drivers will work properly for coffee lake generation intel graphics!
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